Author Archives: Mija

Favorite Board Game: Advent Blog Day 18

scrabble
Another quick blog post made at the end of the day. ¬†ūüôā

As the weather gets colder (okay, it’s Santa Monica, but we’ve got the heater on and all) I tend to want to curl up and cocoon a bit. This makes me think of sipping hot beverages and playing board games. ¬†And when I think of playing board games I mostly think of my very favorite (and my family’s favorite too) which is Scrabble. ¬†We all play, sometimes in bursts where we do it every night, with various styles and skills. Sometimes I play a tight defensive game. ¬†Other times I go for the high scoring words, regardless of leaving the board open in a kind of “catch me if you can” kind of play. ¬†Paul didn’t play when we first met, but he took to it well and, after years of my almost always winning, he now routinely trounces me. (Damn!)

I have some wonderful Scrabble memories. ¬†Some of my favorites are of traveling on trains in Britain with Paul and playing our travel Scrabble game. ¬†The games themselves were a fun way to pass the time, but it was also great fun to watch the nearby passengers slowly get sucked into watching the game while they pretended to read. ¬†We’ve even played on transatlantic flights, a huge advantage for me because Paul is a tense flyer.

That said, I haven’t gotten into Words With Friends, partly because I’m not on Facebook enough and am worried about the time suck, but mostly because I take huge pleasure in the feeling of the wooden tiles in my fingers. ¬†There’s nothing like sticking my fist in the bag and hoping not to pull out more than one letter “i”.

All this said, I wonder why I don’t play more often. ¬†Maybe more Scrabble will be my resolution for the 2012.

 

Amazing Blogging: Advent Blog Day 17

Several things happened today. First, Paul and I got gifts shipped off to family we won't see at Christmas (stuff heading to Ohio and England).  We had great karma with parking appearing as we needed it and stores not being too crowded. I'm especially proud of our gift for our eight year old, science geek nephew.  We got him the Grow Your Own Bacteria kit from ThinkGeek.  I'm not sure it can compete with the owl puke of last year, but I did my best.

I also set up our small Christmas tree.  We didn't get a cut tree this year as we're going to be in Oregon at Christmas, but it felt good to get the small one, which used to be my grandmother's, decorated. Paul played our holiday music for this year and by the time we finished, I felt very much in the mood to celebrate. 

The best treat of the day was surfing over and reading Kaelah's recent (well for the last month, I've fallen behind) posts.  They're thoughtful and thought provoking, all of them raising thoughts and ideas that make me want to write.  Sadly I must go to bed, but I highly recommend reading the following:

Subject: Humiliation

Do You Want Kids With That

Spanking Porn: On Compartmentalization

Hopefully I'll be able to return to these topics in the next few days — I really want to do some reflection so I can do them justice either here or in their comments section.  Meanwhile, do read them. 

Crossing the Streams: Advent Blog Day 16

dont-cross-the-streams
I suppose we all have different faces or streams in our lives. For me there’s Annie (the person I am with my family and closest friends), Mija (my kink self) and an academic identity that’s separate from either of those (we’ll call her A.). ¬†My streams aren’t that separate — Mija and Annie especially mingle across lines. ¬†Most of my close friends know I’m into BDSM of some sort. ¬†People in the kink, including those of you who read here, know a good deal about my life outside the spanking scene. But A. has stayed pretty separate from Mija (except to the degree that some of Mija’s friends in the kink are also academics of various sorts and therefore are likely to related to me as A. as well as knowing me as Annie and Mija).

Part of the seperation is purely practical. ¬†I don’t want to worry overmuch that some poor student of mine is going to be looking for my academic writing on Latina feminism and stumble into The Treehouse. ¬†It’s not that I’m ashamed of Mija, but my sexual life isn’t a place I want my students and I suspect they prefer it that way as well. ¬†On the other hand, my research, so far anyway, hasn’t addressed issues of female masochism in literature, though I’ve read something of others work in that field. ¬†But my academic interests are more in the area of queerness, race and class. I’m not sure why that is. ¬†Part of is, I know, that talking about issues related to BDSM in an academic setting make me feel insecure in the sense of feeling exposed. It’s something that may change as I evolve as a scholar (I hope it does) but that’s where I’m at right now. ¬†Yet another dimension to it is that on some level I don’t want to theorize everything in my personal life. ¬†It’s nice to have a space in my life where academics don’t intrude.

At one time I imagined that doing a feminist analysis of what I do, especially what I do with Paul, would damage my kink on some level and I consciously tried to avoid doing it. ¬†Which of course resulted in my doing exactly that and finding that my kink wouldn’t be possible (for me) without feminism. ¬†So it’s not that the streams can’t cross. ¬†I just generally don’t cross them.

Except when I do. ¬†Today I was having coffee with someone from my department who works on gender studies, queerness and fandoms and found myself honestly talking with her about where my technical skills come from, where Paul and I met and then being honest about my interests in BDSM, including mentioning that my primary kink is spanking. ¬†She identifies as a lesbian, and has some experience with the BDSM scene, but it’s not her thing. ¬†Our conversation turned to issues of polyamory and how it does and doesn’t work with insecurity and introversion. ¬†It was a conversation I could have had with any number of kink friends, but the first time I’ve been able to talk with someone from my “vanilla” life and not feel like they’re tourists. ¬†It was nice, felt totally natural and I have no regrets about outing myself. ¬†In fact, outing feels like too violent a word for our conversation. ¬†As I said, it was natural. Not telling the truth would have closed off an emotional and intellectual area between us. It was only afterwards I found myself surprised by how much I’d disclosed.

My streams still don’t cross. ¬†Except when they do.

For a much more touching post on how the streams can meet and cross, see EJ’s post. ¬†She wrote it last week and I just read it tonight after I wrote this, but nonetheless felt it somehow inspired these thoughts. ¬†Or rather that they come from a similar source.

The Cyst That Wasn’t: Advent Blog Day 14

First, let me preface this by saying there's nothing seriously wrong. But as I'm blogging every day and this is what happened today, I'm going write about it.  Also, it isn't serious, but I'm still a bit freaked out. Fair warning, if you're squimish about things medical, you may want to skip this blog post.

It started with a bump on my stomach.  I thought it was a boil actually on an old incision line.  It came to a head and opened in the revolting way such things do.  But then it wouldn't go away — kept coming back in the same place and getting a bit worse each time before healing and going away.  I stopped thinking it was just a boil and started wondering if maybe when I had surgery something like a staple had been left inside (yes, I'd been Googling).  So I made an appointment with a doctor to have it looked at.  Meanwhile, as I waited for my appointment it got worse and even grosser.

The doctor wasn't too concerned, though she agreed with me it was very gross (well, she didn't say that, but said she understood why I was grossed out by it).  She treated it, prescribed some cream to put on it under the dressing and then told me what she thought.  She said she thought I had a cyst which would, unless the cream cleared it up, would need very minor surgery to remove. However, since this was the site of a surgery, she wanted me to have a CT scan to see if I'd developed a hernia, which would need a slightly less minor surgery to repaiir.  

I went in for the CT scan on that terrible Friday.  Meanwhile, the cream seemed to be working a treat.  I got a call that evening telling me I did indeed have a hernia and would I come back in to talk about treatment.  I was a bit disturbed at the thought of surgery, mostly wondering how I was going to schedule it and my recovery around my teaching schedule next semester.  More annoyed then worried.  

Today I went in to hear more about the CT scan.  A second surgeon was called in.  This is where it started to get a little freakier. Apparently I have a enterocutaneous fistula which basically means I have a hernia but in addition to that, part of my small intestine has pushed its way through the opening in the muscle and attached itself to the underside of my skin. My skin doesn't like that and is draining in annoyance.  In the works are more follow-up appointments and what is still basically very minor surgery sometime in the new year.  It's not serious unless I start having a raft of symptoms which I don't have.

But, as I said earlier, I'm still freaked out.

In other news, I did the calligraphy for our Christmas CD covers and drew a small snowman to make it festive.  I'll put the playlist and a picture up tomorrow.    

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Advent bloggers so far (go see them!):

padme & Anakin - Journey to the Darkside

Marie - Life, Lemons & Spanking

EmmaEnchanted - This Kinky Life

Quai  -  Spanking Discussion

Poppy St. Vincent - Poppy's Submissions

Sharon - The Evolution of a Pin-Up Model

Tiger - Innermost Me 

Indy - Not So Submissive

Listening to Victorian England: Advent Blog Day 13

anne-perry
As you’ve probably gathered from my blog posts lately, I’ve been pretty stressed out about lots of things. ¬†The spanking from Paul helped. ¬†Working on my calligraphy helps. ¬†So does baking, though I’ve done too little of that lately.

Another wonderful escape is listening to audiobooks. ¬†Lately (for the last month) I’ve been listening to Anne Perry’s mystery series set in Victorian England. They’re lovely, full of rich detail about the period, the bad of the wrenching poverty, as well as the beauty of the lives of the English upper class.

At one point I had mixed feelings about audiobooks, holding to an odd snobbery about reading on paper. After listening to Stephan Fry read the Harry Potter books, I completely changed that point of view. A good reader can make a good book great, adding to the enjoyment of the text. I’ve found I like being read to and, as I read rather too fast sometimes, the act of being read to slows me down and can make me appreciate details of the text. ¬†It’s also nice to be able to “read” while doing other things, like practicing my lettering. The act of having my hands occupied with calligraphy, while my brain is listening to a story is engrossing and leaves no room for the anxiety to creep in and distract me.

So what do you think of audiobooks or Anne Perry? Have you gotten into either?

And yes, there are very occasional references to “discipline” of various kinds. As ever, those unexpected moments give me a special thrill.

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Advent bloggers so far (go see them!):

padme & Anakin –¬†Journey to the Darkside

Marie –¬†Life, Lemons & Spanking

EmmaEnchanted –¬†This Kinky Life

Quai ¬†–¬†¬†Spanking Discussion

Poppy St. Vincent –¬†Poppy’s Submissions

Sharon –¬†The Evolution of a Pin-Up Model

Tiger –¬†Innermost Me

Indy –¬†Not So Submissive

 

Such a Manic Sunday: Advent Blog Day 11

This was not a quiet day. I'm not sure how it ended up being so busy, except that my dad was home all day and we seemed to move from task to task.  Still, it was a good day in that I feel I got a fair few things done.  

The most impressive of these is that I changed the lock on the front door. It needed to be done because my purse (which had my keys and our address in it) has not yet been returned. It's a little scary to think of someone we don't know having keys to our door. So I went to the hardware store and bought a lock that looked a lot like the one that was already on it. I did think of maybe calling a locksmith to have the place re-keyed, but then considered that having them come out would cost more than doing it myself, plus, worst case, I'd have to have a locksmith come out and do the install.  Might as well give it a go.  Anyway, Casey was sure I could do it.  It also gave me an excuse to use my Hitachi (power drill), something I find very exciting.

It was all much easier than I expected and took, total, less than 15 minutes. I made my dad and Paul come and admire it and preened about it on Twitter. Clearly, from this post, you may have gleened I'm still proud. 

I spent most of the rest of the day working on materials for the course I'm teaching next semester. Sadly the book I most want to teach, This Bridge Called My Back, is out of print. Happily, a couple hours worth of work and I've found all but two chapters on the web as PDFs.  It's not as good at them having the actual book, but at least the students will be able to read it. Also in preparation for teaching, Paul did heroic work and divided up my academic domain so I can have mutiple WordPress blogs on it, which means I can construct a website / blog for the course. So I spent the second half of the day working on that. I swear the hardest part (for me) about using word press is figuring out what theme to use and then how to make it do what I want.  I'm not good with too many choices.

Purse-aftermath-update (no, it's not over)

Okay so now I've changed the lock and have begun to replace credit cards and the like. I'm still hoping it comes back in the next week or I'll have to go in and get a new driver's licence (ugh!).  I've also talked with my therapist about how to be more mindful when I'm stressed out — basically I need to be aware that when I'm stressed my ability to do things on auto-pilot is diminished. Paul's been really wonderful about not making me feel bad for being careless, but we talked about it a bit during our scene yesterday. Today we talked about it a bit more and he's offered to / said he's going to be aware of me being aware. 

That's not as good as having my purse back, but it's a help. 

This Is Not a Scene Report – Advent Blog Day 10

number-10
This is not a scene report. But I just got spanked (well, it’s probably been an hour — there was lots of after care). ¬†And have bruises on my thighs.

It was a hard spanking. ¬†Hard because there was spanking and the backs of my thighs. ¬†Hard because the ebony hairbrush and my bottom were intimately involved. But mostly hard because I didn’t want to be spanked.

I made that quite clear. When Paul’s desire to spank me was mooted by him on our walk home from breakfast, I told him I didn’t want to be spanked. When we got home and he said he wanted me in my uniform by the time he got home from Staples (we needed CDs for the Christmas album) I repeated that I didn’t want to be spanked. When he pointed out there were lots of good reasons to spank me, I narrowed my eyes. ¬†Because I really didn’t feel like it. ¬†I had been too stressed out from applying for academic jobs, from losing my purse, from dealing with the after effects of losing my purse (I could go on about that but you’ve probably read way more about my absent purse then you ever wanted to hear).

Paul’s response? ¬†That’s too bad.

I understood. ¬†He wasn’t saying “That’s too bad — I wish we could play.” He was saying “I’m going to spank you anyway. ¬†I’ll be in control of the scene. You have no responsibility except for being there.”

And because of that, it worked. Because I didn’t have to consent (beyond the consenting to non-consent that I did years ago and have never wanted to revoke), the spanking was just what I needed and made me feel a peace I haven’t felt in a long time.

After care conversation (held snuggling in bed): 

Me: Why do I always feel so loving and close to you after you beat me?

Paul: Because you’re a weird freak.

Me: Oh yeah.

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Advent bloggers so far (go see them!):

padme & Anakin –¬†Journey to the Darkside

Marie –¬†Life, Lemons & Spanking

EmmaEnchanted –¬†This Kinky Life

Quai ¬†–¬†¬†Spanking Discussion

Poppy St. Vincent –¬†Poppy’s Submissions

Sharon –¬†The Evolution of a Pin-Up Model

Tiger –¬†Innermost Me

Indy –¬†Not So Submissive

 

Favorite Holiday Song: Advent Blog Day 8

Paul and I are putting together a Christmas CD / playlist of favorites to share with friends.  Or rather, Paul has put it together and I've spent today listening to it and trying to decide if I like the songs and their order. This is in no way a hardship as I love Christmas music (well, good Christmas music anyway) and can be caught singing along.  This is embarrassing both because it forces me to admit that I know all the words (the amount of my brainspace devoted to song lyrics may explain why I've always struggled to learn foreign languages) and because I have a terrible singing voice. 

I like the mix Paul has put together (when it's finalized I'll share it here) but even more than that, it's reminded me of my all time favorite Christmas song that I never hear too much.  It's "Home For the Holidays" sung by Perry Como.  I start thinking about it at Thanksgiving and resist giving it up until sometime after Twelfth Night. 

 

Give it a play and sing along.  Just for me.  And then leave a comment with your favorite holiday song. :) 

Home For the Holidays by  ROBERT ALLEN, AL STILLMAN 

Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays
'Cause no matter how far away you roam
When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze
For the holidays you can't beat home, sweet home

I met a man who lives in Tennessee
And he was headin' for
Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie
From Pennsylvania folks are trav'lin' down
To Dixie's sunny shore
From Atlantic to Pacific, gee,
The traffic is terrific!

Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays
'Cause no matter how far away you roam
If you want to be happy in a million ways
For the holidays you can't beat home, sweet home

Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays
'Cause no matter how far away you roam
When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze
For the holidays you can't beat home, sweet home

I met a man who lives in Tennessee
And he was headin' for
Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie
From Pennsylvania folks are trav'lin' down
To Dixie's sunny shore
From Atlantic to Pacific, gee,
The traffic is terrific!

Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays
'Cause no matter how far away you roam
If you want to be happy in a million ways
For the holidays you can't beat home, sweet home

A Day Full of Syllabi: Advent Blog: Day 6

Advent bloggers so far (go see them!):

padme & Anakin - Journey to the Darkside

Marie - Life, Lemons & Spanking

EmmaEnchanted - This Kinky Life

Quai  -  Spanking Discussion

Poppy St. Vincent - Poppy's Submissions

Sharon - The Evolution of a Pin-Up Model

Tiger - Innermost Me 

And as of today: Indy – Not So Submissive

You can join anytime — think of it as getting your calendar a bit late so opening a couple days all at once. This is fun, not a holiday stress!

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As some of you know, I'm applying for academic jobs right now. This means getting materials ready to send off to various universities in the hope that one (or maybe more) will want to interview me in January. It's stressful and not fun.  Except what I did some of yesterday and most of today is fun.  I wrote up sample syllabi for a specific university.  The idea is that they want to see what how I'd teach specific courses in their catalog. I've found I really enjoy going and looking for books, seeing what's new and remembering things I've read already (or been meaning to read). It's a joy.

Like all tasks though, it's time consuming and the devil is in the details. I swear I was 80% finished at 8:00 PM and just put the final touches on the second one a few minutes ago.  I was going to skip blogging tonight but Serenity suggested I blog about writing my syllabus. So i am.  I wish I could share them on here, but I'm trying to keep my academic persona seperate from my Mija self.  It's not that I'm ashamed in anyway of what I write here, but it's too much personal information to have my students stumbling over when they search my vanilla scholarly self.  But I will recommend a book (it would be a good Christmas present) — The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea.  It's a lovely bit of magical realism and beautifully written. 

In other news, I've done very little calligraphy this week but, barring some disaster, I'm going to calligraphy class tomorrow. 

Um, that's about it. Maybe there will be a better entry tomorrow.